Interprofessional education gets new emphasis

The Health Science Center is creating a new culture of interprofessionalism under the leadership of David Farmer, PhD, Director of Interprofessional Practice. Farmer is helping reduce siloization so health providers and professionals will work in teams to improve care and reduce medical errors.

An example is the April 22 hospital emergency code simulation during which students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and TCU’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences worked alongside UNT System College of Pharmacy faculty, area chaplains and other professionals in a simulated life-saving situation. Medical and nursing students trained together to improve their understanding of each profession’s roles and responsibilities in a code situation.

The UNTHSC Interprofessional Education (IPE) Steering Committee was created to develop interprofessional collaboration across all UNTHSC schools and includes a dean, associate dean or faculty member from each school. Collaborative projects include Interprofessional SAGE (Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education), a school of public health administration IPE honors course, an interprofessional student coalition dynamic discussion on obesity, the code simulation and faculty training. Preliminary plans include interprofessional courses in ethics and community resources, with students from various UNTHSC schools training together.

Various community agencies including hospitals and local universities with health professions programs could be part of the next phase of interprofessional training.

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